The Senate passed it on a vote of 61-37, and it has now been sent on to the House of Representatives for approval. President Obama has stated he will sign it when it comes across his desk. According to Reuters:
It may not be a state, but it is our country's capital and should have been included all along. Now they will finally have their say - and not just have to stand by and watch while everyone else gets a vote in their town but them.
The United States is the only democracy in the world that does not provide citizens of its capital a full voting member in its legislative branch, bill backers say.
"It is patently unjust and un-American," said Senator Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut independent and a chief sponsor of the legislation.
Each of the 50 U.S. states have two members in the U.S. Senate. The number of representatives each state has in the 435-member House is based on their population.
Washington, D.C., which used to be part of the state of Maryland, was created as a district by the federal government and designated as the U.S. capital in 1800. Residents have sought representation in Congress ever since.
The Senate and House bills would give Washington - named for the first U.S. president and also known as the District of Columbia - a representative, but no senators.